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How to Attract Passive Candidates

Have you ever wondered why your company doesn’t see enough strong candidates for open positions? It may be because, according to a LinkedIn survey, 78 percent of fully-employed LinkedIn members are not actively looking for a new job. The best job candidates don’t need to look for a job. They’re being pursued by recruiters and former co-workers. This group is known as “passive candidates.”

They are currently employed, not necessarily planning to change jobs, but open to considering a new opportunity when approached. To reach these star performers, the usual recruiting methods – writing a great job description and creating a Careers section on your website – just won’t cut it. So, how do you find these promising prospects who aren’t actively trying to be found? Here are five smart ways to lure in elusive passive candidates.

Create a recruiting culture

The best way to attract a passive candidate is by creating a corporate culture so appealing that your employees want to spread the word about how great it is to work for you. The first step, of course, is making sure that your company is a great place to work. Then, make it easy for employees to refer candidates to open positions and reward them when they do.

Don’t just set up a referral program and then forget about it. Remind employees often that you are hiring, and give them the opportunity to share your job openings with their networks. When your employees succeed in referring quality candidates, share the success with the entire company. The acknowledgment will make them feel valued and further promote the recruiting culture.

Get connected

Do you know who follows your company on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook? The people who like, share and retweet your message are already familiar with your brand and may be more receptive to your recruiting efforts.

Follow them back and interact with them so that they’ll know they are on your radar. Make people feel important and valuable and they’ll be more receptive to you.

Listen to what motivates people

Money is not the only reason people change jobs. They may be attracted to a shorter commute, the opportunity to work remotely, flexible schedules and more opportunities for professional development. Ask your current employees about the non-monetary perks they value, then promote those attributes on your social media channels and other communications.

When you gain a reputation for being the place to work, candidates will come to you.

Don’t wait until you are hiring

If you wait until you urgently need to fill a position to search for qualified candidates, your available talent will be limited. Instead, consider investing in an ongoing talent pipeline. Maybe you met a great candidate who wasn’t quite ready to change jobs at the time. Keep them on your radar and keep yourself on theirs. Stay in touch, meet for coffee a couple times a year, or invite them to company events. It will take time and effort to nurture these relationships, but it could pay dividends later.

Be professional and discrete

Keep in mind that the passive candidates you are targeting may be very satisfied with their current position and won’t welcome aggressive, heavy-handed recruiting tactics that could come to the attention of their current manager.

Be discrete in your contact. Don’t call the switchboard of their current employer or send communications to their work email. Offer opportunities to interview after hours and ask permission before contacting references. The best way to handle these sensitive communications is by working with a recruiter.

Keep in mind that attracting passive candidates is about more than just catching their attention. You need to be able to offer something substantial that their current company is not able to offer. Remember that building relationships is more effective than a direct sales approach for passive candidates. These methods take more time, but they will increase your talent pool and keep them engaged.

For more information on how to land passive candidates, get in touch with us!



Accounting Principals

We're Accounting Principals--a leader in finance and accounting staffing. In fact, since 2010, we've been part of Adecco Group, a Global 500 company and leader in staffing services around the world. But this isn't staffing as usual. We take quite a different approach than most staffing agencies. A people-focused approach. We believe in forming real relationships with both our clients and our candidates. We want to understand the needs on both sides.